A Divisive Election Year When We Need It Least
In this time of celebrating our natio's independence, may all Americans recall the ideals and principles upon which this great nation was built and put the "United" back in United States.
I am one of those classic non-partisans, the kind of person around whom political campaigns are designed. I have voted Democratic, Republican, independent, and everything in-between. Yes, I am undecided in some races. Like most such Americans I need to be persuaded.
What I do not find persuasive at all, however, is when one candidate asks for my vote because the other candidate is supposedly even worse than he or she is. This is not a particularly good way to secure my vote, not at all. Those who are running for Congress in Missouri's 5th District should take heed. They would be well advised not to tell me that Emanuel Cleaver is an unworthy opponent. When they name a major street after a guy, there is probably at least some reason they did so. What I want to hear is why this other candidate would make a better Congressman or Congress-woman than Cleaver, what someone can do for the district or the country that Cleaver cannot. Then I will listen.
Likewise, those candidates who are running for governor in the state of Missouri ought not ask for my vote by telling me in 30 seconds or less that Governor Holden is not up to the job. Those candidates might tell me instead what they would have done in difficult economic times differently from what Holden did not do or try to do. By telling me that things would have been great if they had been governor they only insult me.
We run a business magazine here. We follow these things. We know when the recession started, which was, in fact, around March, 2001, if not earlier. The opposition would do well not to tell us how few jobs President Bush created. He inherited a recession followed a few months later by September 11. I don't blame a recession on a given party. Recessions happen. Those who ignore the single greatest annual crash of an American market--NASDAQ in 2000--and blame Bush for a recession that was in process as he was being sworn in, insults me and will not get my vote.
The opposition also goes terribly wrong by blaming September 11 on the President or his cabinet. That too is insulting. We all know that this situation had been brewing for a decade, maybe more. If anyone is to be blamed, the terrorists themselves should. Their buddies must revel in all this finger-pointing. A political camp that calls the President a liar every time the intelligence proves imperfect or things do not work out as planned in Iraq or Afghanistan give aid and comfort to these clowns. That is not a good way to earn my vote.
Let's face it. If, on September 12, 2001, someone had told us that in three years the economy would be as strong as it is today, and there would have been no attacks on our soil, and that we would have liberated 50 million people from the lethal yoke of Islamo-terrorism, I would have danced the Macarena on 12th street, a scarier site than a warehouse filled with mustard gas. So let us not get weak-kneed now. If our nation is attacked again, we can't just point fingers--Lord knows the administration has worked harder to pro-tect our homeland than in any other time in the history of this great nation. We can't stand out in the square like those pathetic Spaniards holding peace signs. No, we have to hang tough and hang together. When we are united, the enemy is a joke. When we are disunited, Canada could whip us.
So please, stop the silliness Mr. or Ms. Candidate, just show us what you would do better or different. If ever there were a time that we as a nation should stand strong, it is now. If ever there were a time to expect solidarity among all of our leaders, especially among our elected officials and aspiring candidates, it is now. In this time of celebrating our nation's independence, may all Americans recall the ideals and principles upon which this great nation was built and put the "United" back in United States.